The Group 2 Apollo Stakes (1400m) was the feature race running at Royal Randwick Racecourse and was considered by some as even more exciting than the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) running in Melbourne, considering the classy field consisting of returning gallopers He’s Your Man, Contributer, and Lucia Valentina.
Kris Lees’ Lucia Valentina was back to third last after jumping and was still second last at the turn. Team Hawkes’ Ninth Legion was in front at the 300 metres before the John O’Shea-trained Contributer came up and grabbed the lead with 100 metres to go to win running away.
The $5.50 second favourite in the Ladbrokes.com.au betting beat Ninth Legion ($7.50) by one and a half lengths with Weary ($5.50) just beating Lucia Valentina for third after the mare worked her way to the front from the back of the field.
Contributer is a serious racehourse, lengthening in the closing moments to just destroy his rivals. We know he was a good middle-distance runner but now know he is a winner over the shorter distances as well. It won’t be long until he adds a Group One victory to his resume.
James McDonald was in the saddle for the third consecutive time and had nothing but good things to say about the five-year-old horse.
“It was very good,” the hoop said.
“He relaxed beautifully and he has taken great improvement from the spring.
“Obviously he got off the plane and went out and won the Coongy and he ran credibly in the other race, but they were too good for him on that day.
“He has a turn-of-foot which most Europeans don’t come down with, so he has a bright future here in Australia.”
Contributer will be a major players heading into the spring with potential starts in the Group 1 Chipping Norton Stakes (1600m) at Warwick Farm on February 28, Group 1 Ranvet Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill on March 21, and returning to Randwick for the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth Stakes (2000m) on Aprill 11.
Open your Ladbrokes.com.au online betting account to follow his quest for a Group One win and you’ll receive a $250 bonus match on your first bet.
2015 Apollo Stakes Race Results & Finishing Order
|1||8||CONTRIBUTER (IRE)||John O’Shea||James McDonald||–||6||59kg||$5.50|
|2||7||NINTH LEGION||Michael, Wayne & John Hawkes||Sam Clipperton||1.5L||14||59kg||$7.50|
|3||6||WEARY (FR)||Chris Waller||Tommy Berry||1.8L||13||59kg||$5.50|
|4||13||LUCIA VALENTINA (NZ)||Kris Lees||Hugh Bowman||2L||9||57kg||$4.40F|
|5||12||SILENT ACHIEVER (NZ)||Roger James||Kerrin McEvoy||2.7L||8||57kg||$14|
|6||3||HE’S YOUR MAN (FR)||Chris Waller||Blake Shinn||2.8L||7||59kg||$5.50|
|7||1||BOBAN||Chris Waller||Glyn Schofield||2.9L||2||59kg||$14|
|8||14||DIAMOND DRILLE||Gai Waterhouse||Tim Clark||3.2L||1||57kg||$20|
|9||2||FORETELLER (GB)||Chris Waller||Jason Collett||4L||5||59kg||$51|
|10||10||MALAVIO||Steve Englebrecht||Christian Reith||5.2L||3||59kg||$26|
|11||4||HAWKSPUR||Chris Waller||Jim Cassidy||6.4L||10||59kg||$31|
|12||5||JUNOOB (GB)||Chris Waller||Tye Angland||6.5L||11||59kg||$71|
|13||15||QUEENSTOWN||Gai Waterhouse||Paul King||6.6L||12||57kg||$81|
|14||11||DISCLAIMER (GB)||Peter & Paul Snowden||Joshua Parr||8.4L||4||59kg||$81|
|–||9||RED EXCITEMENT||Gerald Ryan||–||0||–||–|